"A commitment to academics is the first pillar of our mission to guide, encourage and support our student-athletes in their quest for comprehensive excellence," stated Interim Director Athletics Laura Herron. "Dr. Emily Blackman has done an outstanding job leading our academic support unit and I commend her and her staff for achieving this recognition."
The N4A Certification Program was established in 2010 to raise the professional standard among academic support programs and encourage a broader range of understanding of best practices and successful operations. According to the N4A, the purpose of program certification is to verify that an academic support unit can provide a basic set of services to student-athletes as outlined in N4A guidelines and Code of Ethics.
UTC has seen its student-athlete grade-point-average rise from a 2.51 in the spring of 2007 to a school-record-tying 2.97 in the spring of 2012. The Mocs had six programs finish in the top-25 in the nation in team g.p.a. for their respective sports last year. The men's cross country team had a 3.81 that was the highest in the country in 2011-12. Men's track & field (3rd), women's cross country (5th), women's golf (10th), wrestling (13th) and women's track & field (25th) were the other top finishers.
"Not only does this process reinforce what we are doing with our approach to academics, but it also give us valuable feedback in areas that we can still improve," added Herron. "We are always looking for ways to get better and this will help us continue to be a leader in the classroom."
A full list of accredited schools can be found here, but some of the institutions include Tennessee, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma and Baylor.
Blackman and each member of her staff - Rhonda Reynolds, Lisa Tarr, and Lindsey Wendorf - earned individual N4A certification during the 2011-12 academic year. N4A's individual certification program is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and designate those who demonstrate knowledge essential to the profession.
The National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) is an educational service and professional organization dedicated to promoting academic advisement and counseling to athletics. Formed in 1975, N4A has a diverse membership representing hundreds of professionals, nationwide, working to empower student-athletes to become more productive individuals through educational and personal development.